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View Full Version : When Did Pictures of O-Sensei Begin Adorning the Dojo Shomen?


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David Maidment
07-17-2010, 02:07 PM
I've done Google searches for an answer to this and I've also quickly scoured AikiWeb (apologies if this has already been asked and answered and I've just missed it).

When was it that the tradition began of placing a picture of O-Sensei at the head of a dojo? Was it done by the early uchi-deshi after moving away to start their own dojo or was it something decided upon as a sign of respect after O-Sensei passed away? Or was it something else entirely?

David Orange
07-17-2010, 02:53 PM
I've done Google searches for an answer to this and I've also quickly scoured AikiWeb (apologies if this has already been asked and answered and I've just missed it).

When was it that the tradition began of placing a picture of O-Sensei at the head of a dojo? Was it done by the early uchi-deshi after moving away to start their own dojo or was it something decided upon as a sign of respect after O-Sensei passed away? Or was it something else entirely?

I think it's traditional in Japanese dojos for any teacher to put a picture of his own teacher at the head of the dojo.

In the old yoseikan hombu, Mochizuki Sensei had a picture of Ueshiba on one side of the kamiza and one of Kano on the other. But in the kamiza itself, he had a driftwood dragon's head to represent Ueshiba.

FWIW

David

mickeygelum
07-17-2010, 10:08 PM
I think it's traditional in Japanese dojos for any teacher to put a picture of his own teacher at the head of the dojo.

In the old yoseikan hombu, Mochizuki Sensei had a picture of Ueshiba on one side of the kamiza and one of Kano on the other. But in the kamiza itself, he had a driftwood dragon's head to represent Ueshiba.


Sir,

Is this your opinion or a fact-based statement?

( I read, " I THINK ")

David Orange
07-17-2010, 10:52 PM
Sir,

Is this your opinion or a fact-based statement?

( I read, " I THINK ")

As I said, that's the way it was at the yoseikan. And when I went to the yoshinkan hombu, Shioda Sensei had a number of pictures on the joseki wall. When I went to Sugino Sensei's dojo, frankly, I don't recall whether there were photos or not. Could be just my imagination.

David

danj
07-18-2010, 09:55 AM
my 0.02c

In our school the Kamiza (shrine in the middle of Shomen) most often has weapons on a stand, some calligraphy, maybe a floral something or other (on special occasions) and a picture of O'Sensei. in other schools sometimes there are also notables that have passed on displayed on Kamiza or on shomen. Pictures of prominent people e.g. founder in the school, headmaster can go on Shomen (the wall kamiza is on) or around the dojo as well.

best
dan

niall
07-19-2010, 12:11 AM
O Sensei died in 1969 aged 85 and presumably the photo would have been placed in the dojo very soon after that as a mark of respect. It may even have been the actual photo they used at the funeral.

The photos of O Sensei and Doshu Ueshiba Kisshomaru are on the wall in the hombu dojo above the scroll with O Sensei's calligraphy of aikido.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melmiel/290338593/sizes/l/
this is one of melmiel's aikido photos on flickr

There are precedents in gendai budo (modern martial arts). In the Kodokan there is a photo of Kano Jigoro Sensei who died in 1938 aged 77. In front of the picture there is also a small table and chair that he used. It's simple and effective.
http://www.kodokan.org/e_info/panorama_dojo.html
This is a panorama of the Kodokan (you need to have QuickTime installed to view it).

Gichin Funakoshi died in 1957 aged 88. I have seen his photo in karate dojos but also displayed high on the wall - often together with the founder of a style of karate.

As a cultural aside if the family of a deceased person doesn't have a suitable photograph the funeral company makes a photomontage of a generic body often wearing a formal kimono matched with the dead person's face taken from any available snapshot. The excellent movie Departures (Okuribito) about one of those funeral companies won the oscar for foreign-language movie in 2009.